William Lowell Putnam
The next Putnam Competition will be December 3, 2011.
The Putnam website provides the history of this competition, which began in 1928, and is designed to stimulate a healthful rivalry in mathematical studies in the colleges and universities of the U.S. and Canada. Prizes and scholarships, ranging from $250 to $25,000 (individual and team), are awarded after grading is completed in January.
This challenging national examination consists of two periods of exactly three hours each, with a two hour break between the two sessions. It tests originality as well as technical competence. Contestants should be familiar with the formal theories embodied in undergraduate mathematics. Getting one problem (out of 12) correct will usually place you in the top 500. The results come out in April.